Skip to main content

Crystal Bridges’ November Programming State of the Art, Symposium, concerts, and lectures galore!

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s groundbreaking exhibition, State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, has gained national attention, bringing together the artwork of 102 artists from all over the country. State of the Art will be on view through January 19, highlighting the artists’ voices with engagement opportunities including workshops, art talks, and panel discussions.

A Spotlight Lecture featuring John Salvest, a State of the Art artist from Arkansas, will take place on November 6. On November 12, keynote speaker and renowned American artist who created Our Town, Kerry James Marshall, will discuss art, community, and his role in mentoring State of the Art artist Mequitta Ahuja. On November 14-15, a free State of the Art Symposium will include artists, experts, and curator talks and panel discussions around responding to the environment—home, community, or in nature.

A full listing of November programs is below. Information and registration are also available on the calendar of events on Crystal Bridges’ website. Sign up for Crystal Bridges email updates at ENewsletter.

Saturday, November 1, 10 am to 6 pm

Museum Store Event>> Artisan Demonstration: Northwest Arkansas Handweavers Guild
Guild members will demonstrate hand-weaving techniques using a floor loom and table-top tapestry loom, as well as hand-spinning techniques used to create fiber art. We will have a “hands-on” loom set up so guests can try their own hand at weaving. Select artisans will have fiber arts on display and for purchase at this event. Free, no registration required.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (through November 28, 2014)

Fall Forage Trail Experience
In all seasons, but especially in the fall, the forest around Crystal Bridges is full of wild, natural foods suitable for both animals and humans … if you know what to look for. Learn what fall forage can be found around the grounds at Crystal Bridges, and what you may find to forage in your own backyard! Sponsored by the Coleman Company. Free, no registration required.

Monday, November 3, 1:20 to 3:30 pm

The Great Reveal » Who doesn’t love Audubon?
Join Library Director Catherine Petersen for a rare look at the Library’s collection of Audubon books. The many Audubon publications can be confusing, but this is a wonderful opportunity to learn a little about the Audubon family, a little about naturalist explorers, a little more about printmaking, and a lot about loving nature books! These beautiful color plates of birds and mammals will keep you coming back to view other rare ornithology and botanical illustrations held in our library collection. Free with online registration.

Wednesday, November 5, 12, and 19, 1 to 2:15 pm

Preschool Art Class>> Nature
For ages 3 to 5 with an adult. Parents or caregivers participate with their preschoolers in gallery conversations and art-making activities each week to explore nature themes in select artworks from State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. Session includes three consecutive Wednesday classes. All materials are provided. $30 ($24 for Members). Register here.

Wednesday, November 5, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Aspen Institute Lecture>> Speaker TBD (Check online for an update on the event speaker). Special thanks to the Aspen Institute for their collaboration in organizing this lecture. Free with online registration.

Friday, November 7, 14, and 21, 2 to 3:30 pm

Homeschool Friday Fun>> Scissors
In this three-session studio class, we will be looking beyond the familiar tools used to create artworks, and will be investigating how different tools can be used to enhance artistic practice. For ages 5-8 and 9-12. All materials are provided. $45 ($36 for Members). Register here.

Friday, November 7, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Spotlight Lecture » State of the Art artist John Salvest
Jonesboro, Arkansas-based artist John Salvest works with found objects and multiples of objects, ranging from used paperback romance novels to expired pills, library stamps, and shipping crates. His practice transforms these everyday objects through accumulation and combination into thought-provoking works of art. Free with registration online.

Saturday, November 8, 9 am to noon

Saturday Session for Teachers>> Say it Like it is
Tour State of the Art with artist and educator John Salvest, whose large-scale installation Forever is included in the exhibition. Focusing on works that are collection-based or made using found objects, Salvest will facilitate a lively discussion on the innovative use of materials in art-making, and the power of the found object to convey and enhance meaning in art. $10 ($8 for Members). Register online here.

Saturday, November 8, noon to 3 pm

Drop-In Art Making>> Art Dice
Drop in anytime between noon and 3 pm for a free, guided studio session. Take part in a fun and creative approach to drawing using art dice. Materials are provided and all ages are welcome! Free, no registration required.

Saturday, November 8, 1 to 2 pm

Art Talk » State of the Art artist James Lavadour
Pendleton, Oregon-based artist James Lavadour is a self-taught artist who uses a wide range of techniques in what he refers to as a “study of the properties of paint.” Learn about Lavadour’s unusual methods—working on as many as 100 paintings at a time and building up layer after layer of paint—in creating his abstractions on the theme of landscape. This event is sponsored by Crystal Bridges Art Now Fund. Free, no registration required.

Sunday, November 9, 11 am to 5 pm

Adult Workshop » State of the Art artist Miki Baird
Deconstruct, reorganize, and reconstruct in this exciting photo-collage workshop! Explore the grounds with State of the Art artist Miki Baird to shoot source images for a collage with your smart phone. In the studio, Baird will present innovative methods of photo deconstruction based on her own artistic processes and those of other artists. Reorganize your transformed images and reconstruct them into a unique collage. Save your final product as a finished work or use it as a drawing surface! Guests should bring their smartphones. All other materials will be provided. $15 ($12 for Members). Register online here.

Sunday, November 9, 1 to 4 pm

Drop-In Drawing
Drop in anytime for a free, informal drawing session. Materials are provided and an art instructor will be on hand to get you started. Check at Guest Services for the specific location. All ages are welcome! Free, no registration required.

Sunday, November 9, 4 to 5 pm

Spotlight Lecture » Author William Souder explores John James Audubon
William Souder is an award-winning author and journalist who has written for some of the nation’s largest newspapers. His second book, Under a Wild Sky, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has recently been reissued by Milkweed Editions. The book focuses on the early development of John James Audubon as a superb introduction to the artist and the man. Free with online registration.

Monday, November 10, 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Spotlight Lecture » State of the Art artist Mequitta Ahuja
In her multilayered works, Baltimore, Maryland-based artist Mequitta Ahuja casts herself in the guise of mythic warriors and epic heroes descending from traditions across cultures. Ahuja will discuss this practice, which she has deemed “automythology,” in which the artist combines aspects of real imagery with invented characters and settings, consolidating her own feminine power as both the subject and the creator of the image. Free with online registration.

Wednesday, November 12, 5:30 to 6 pm

Member Event » Meet & Greet with artist Kerry James Marshall
Museum Members are invited to join us for a Members-only meet-and-greet with guest artist Kerry James Marshall. Note: Members will need to register for the lecture separately. $10 (Free for Members). Register online.

Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Keynote Lecture » Kerry James Marshall
Kerry James Marshall, one of the most widely known and respected American artists of the twenty-first century, uses painting, sculptural installations, collage, video, and photography to comment on the history of black identity both in the United States and in Western art. He is well known for paintings that focus on African American subjects and has explored issues of race and history through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics. Marshall will talk art and community, and about playing an important role as a mentor to the next generation of artists, including Mequitta Ahuja, whose work is currently on exhibit in the State of the Art exhibition. Marshall has work in numerous public collections and is the recipient of several awards, grants, and fellowships, including the MacArthur genius grant in 1997. Tickets are $15 ($12 for members), register online here

Wednesday, November 12, 6 to 7 pm

Boundless Book Club » Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Boundless is an evening book discussion held in the Library that focuses on diverse individuals with a predisposition for literature and the dialogue they come to share. Jim Everett, Crystal Bridges Library Reference Assistant in the Crystal Bridges Library, selects literary stories that push the boundaries on views of popular culture, current literary trends and genres, and past literary movements. Free with online registration.

Thursday, November 13, 11:30 am to 2 pm

Preschool Playdate » Lots & Lots!
Monthly Preschool Playdates feature performances, art projects, story time, and creative play based on themes from our artwork. Activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5 with an adult. We’ll start with a rollicking good time concert by Kindersongs at 11:30 a.m. This Playdate will feature a special opportunity to meet State of the Art artist Lenka Clayton, whose work is based on her life as a mother. Free, no registration required.

Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15

State of the Art Symposium
Join us for a free public symposium on the exhibition State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. All are welcome to attend this enriching program. Enjoy two full days of artists’ talks, panel discussions, and lectures. Artists today use a variety of approaches to respond to their environment—whether home, community, or in nature. This symposium will provide the opportunity to hear directly from artists featured in State of the Art in conversation with curators, local voices, and each other. Sponsored by Crystal Bridges Art Now Fund. Free with online reservation for each day. Learn more here.

Friday, November 14, 6 to 8:30 pm

Adult Workshop with State of the Art artist Lenka Clayton
Lenka Clayton will lead a unique workshop exploring the concept of danger, based on her work, 63 Objects taken from my Son’s Mouth, which can be seen in State of the Art. Participants will recall and record stories of objects that have endangered them, and create an artwork based on their experiences. $15 ($12 for Members). Register online here.

Saturday, November 15, 10 am to 6 pm

Museum Store Event » Featured Artisan Susan Tinker
Color and fabric have been the constant elements guiding Susan Tinker’s life as a weaver, seamstress, quilter, and painter. Dyeing silk is a simple progression of this timeless love. Each of Tinker’s silk charmeuse scarves is painted or printed with the best French silk dyes. Tinker will be demonstrating her hand painting technique throughout the day. Come and select a personal piece of art that you can wear with anything! Free, no registration required.

Saturday, November 15, 1 to 4 pm

Teen Workshop » Drawing your Body’s Anatomy with State of the Art artist Monica Aissa Martinez
This workshop will begin with a review of illustrations to gain a better understanding of human anatomy. Martinez will then guide students through the process of outlining physical forms using their own bodies as models. All materials are provided. Free with online registration.

Sunday, November 16, 1 to 4 pm

Multi-Generation Workshop with State of the Art artist Alberto Aguilar
This is a serious, multi-generational family workshop focusing on engagement between family members and making art with intensity. Tickets are $15 ($12 for Members), register online here

Sunday, November 16, 5 to 6:30 pm

Film » The Lens to the Soul: A Documentary Work on Andrew Kilgore
This local documentary film focuses on the work of Fayetteville-based portrait photographer Andrew Kilgore. Kilgore has created thousands of personal portraits, capturing priceless moments in people’s lives over generations. Of even more importance, he has created a rich library of portraits designed to advocate on behalf of marginalized members of our society. This new form of “advocacy portrait” helps viewers connect with and better understand people living in dire need of our attention and support. The film will be followed by a discussion between director Dan Robinson and the artist. The Lens to the Soul was commissioned by The Fayetteville Public Library, which focuses on locally focused and locally produced film. It is presented in collaboration with Fiery Moon Films. Free with online registration.

Monday, November 17, 1:30 to 2:30 pm

Art Book Club » All About Audubon
Take your pick of one of three John James Audubon biographical selections and join Library Director Catherine Petersen for a discussion of the fascinating life of The Birds of America artist. Audubon, born in 1785, was an illegitimate child of a French shipping captain and a Creole chamber maid, and he went on to become a world-renowned artist-explorer. Each of these books will offer insights into the personality of one of America’s most-loved naturalists and will contribute much to the conversation. Book selections are: John James Audubon: The Making of an American. New York Times best-seller by Richard Rhodes, 2004. (528 pgs.) Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America by William Souder, 2004. (384 pgs.) Audubon’s Elephant: America’s Greatest Naturalist and the Making of the Birds of America by Duff Hart-Davis, 2004. (216 pgs.) Free, Register here.

Wednesday, November 19, 6 to 7 pm

Wednesday over Water (WOW) » State of the Art
Please join Crystal Bridges Culinary Director Case Dighero along with special State of the Art guests in the second part of a provocative discussion regarding the State of the Art exhibition and contemporary art in general, along with food and drink inspired by the exhibition. Open to guests ages 21 and above. Sponsored by Premier Dermatology[LD1] and Riedel. Tickets are $30 ($24 for Members). Register online here.

Friday, November 21, 5 to 6:30 pm

Great Hall Concert » Call and Response
Local musicians Er-Gene Kang and UA Fulbright Scholar Wilson Borja provide audiences with an enriching cross-disciplinary performance through their studies of Alfred Schnittke, widely considered to be one of Europe’s most important twentieth-century composers. This year marks the 80th anniversary of Schnittke’s birth, and Call and Response is one event within a larger retrospective of the composer’s work taking place in Northwest Arkansas. The performance uses Schnittke’s short films as one of its points of origin, as well as Andy Warhol’s Hammer and Sickle, a work in Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection that simultaneously addresses cultural legacy and the evolution of perception. Free, register online here.

Saturday, November 22, noon to 4 pm

Sunday, November 23, noon to 4 pm

Photography Workshop » State of the Art artist Kirk Crippens
Join photographer Kirk Crippens for a two-day workshop in which you’ll use your camera to reflect on meaningful issues while photographing the places and objects around you. The workshop will combine off-site photography in downtown Bentonville with studio instruction and discussion. Crippens will help you approach your subjects with a thoughtful eye. Crippens’s series The Great Recession: Foreclosure, USA captures poignant loneliness and dark humor in vacant properties of Stockton CA. Selections from the exhibition are on view in State of the Art. Sponsored by Demara Titzer and the Crystal Bridges Art Now Fund. Tickets are $40 ($36 for Members), register online or by calling Guest Services at 479.657.2335.

Monday, November 24, 1 to 2 pm

Art Talk » State of the Art artist Kirk Crippens
Emeryville, California-based artist Kirk Crippens will discuss his photograph series The Great Recession: Foreclosure, USA, featured in State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. Sponsored by the Crystal Bridges Art Now Fund. Free, no registration required.

About Crystal Bridges
 The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities. Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed nearly 1.5 million visitors, and garnered more than 8,000 households in its membership. Some 55,000 school children have participated in the Museum’s Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. More than 220,000 visitors a year utilize the Museum’s 3.5 miles of walking trails.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3]— each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions, which were viewed by some 216,000 visitors in 2013.

Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages. In 2013, more than 300 public programs were offered, including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. An award-winning app, available free for both Apple and Android devices, features audio tours of current and past exhibitions, and many of the Museum’s lectures and gallery talks are available in Crystal Bridges’ iTunes U site. A new initiative to develop high-quality distance-learning opportunities for students and teachers begins this year.

Crystal Bridges also offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences.

Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at